Nakatani stays cool to win the NCGA Women's Amateur
- NCGA photo
- NCGA photo

Rei Nakatani may not have won recently, but she sure looked comfortable coming down the stretch at the annual NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship.

After starting the final round three strokes behind the lead, Nakatani shot a bogey-free 3-under 33 on the back nine to cap off the low round of the tournament, 3-under 69, and take the title at Poppy Hills. Her tournament total of even-par 144 earned her a two-shot victory over first round leader Annika Borrelli.

“It’s very exciting. I haven’t won a tournament in a while, it’s probably been four years since I last won an event. It feels awesome to win on a great course like Poppy Hills with a great field at this tournament.”

Nakatani’s final round included four birdies and just one bogey on the par-4 3rd hole. She set the tone early with a birdie on the par-5 opening hole, which Borrelli bogied for a two-shot swing.

The two players would battle back and forth for the remainder of the front nine, with Borrelli holding onto the one stroke lead heading to the back nine. But the real momentum change would take place on the par-3 11th hole, with Borrelli making bogey and Nakatani carding a birdie to take her first lead of the tournament. She would hold the lead for the remainder of the day, making birdies on the 13th and 18th on her way to the clubhouse.

Despite the close match down the stretch, Nakatani avoided any thoughts of hoisting the trophy before the round was over.

“I had absolutely no idea where I stood, but I knew I needed to go low,” said Nakatni after the round.

When asked about any improvements in her game to get back in the winner’s circle, Nakatani, who will be a senior on the UC-Davis women’s golf team in the fall, said it has been a continual learning process.

“I became a little bit smarter on the course, and learned when to be aggressive at the right time, and I think I just matured a little bit as a golfer.”

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ABOUT THE NCGA Women's Amateur

The NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship is the association’s premier event for female golfers. Field limited to 96 eligible players between the championship and senior divisions. All female golfers with a handicap index of 7.4 or less (or 18.4 or less for seniors) are eligible to enter. Format: 54 holes stroke play (18 holes per day).

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